Month in Review: September 2016

Month in Review

Read this month: 7 Books, 1835 Pages 

Read this year: 45 Books, 15,572 Pages 

What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions Stone Cold Lover (Gargoyles, #2) Legal Wolf's Mate

 Archangel's Consort  (Guild Hunter, #3) Star Trek 1 Heart of Stone (Gargoyles, #1) Tor (Women of Earth, #2)

Looking Back:

I am really surprised that I actually finished this many books this month.  The past two weeks I haven’t even picked up a book other than my audio books.  I just have not felt like reading with everything that happen this month I didn’t push myself.  If I wanted to curl up on the couch and watch nothing but YouTube while eating popcorn that’s what I did.  I am feeling better now though so it worked I guess. My mood has affected my ratings so it is probably best that I stayed away from some of the titles on my to-read-soon list.

Looking Ahead:

I’m hoping to start picking up more books soon.  This weekend I am actually out-of-town, again, at my college’s , now a university…, homecoming.  It is my 20 year reunion and I am excited to have one friend going for sure.  I have picked out a couple of audio books for the drive that I will force my husband to at least attempt to listen to.  He is already starting to try to worm his way out of it but we are taking my truck that has a working CD player so no excuses.  I am going to try and work in more audio books this month.  I found that listening to NF is a great way to fall asleep, keeps your brain occupied so that it doesn’t obsess about stuff.  I have also signed up for the Goodreads reading challenge, quite late in the year but hey I want the little badge for my profile.  I pledged to read 52 books and I think I will make it, maybe this month even.

Happy Reading ~Amy

Stone Cold Lover by Christine Warren

Book Review

 


Stone Cold Lover (Gargoyles, #2)Book Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Book Series: Gargoyles #2

Released: 8/26/2014 by St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Pages: 336  Price: $7.99

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed the audio book from my library. 

 

 

Book Synopsis:

A prominent art restorer, Felicity is more than game to help a friend track down an obscure statue in Montreal. But when “Fil” finds it, she’s taken by surprise at how drawn she is to this statue. Attracted to it in a way a girl shouldn’t lust for a stone gargoyle, she revists it at night, longing to feel its embrace. Little does Fil know, her desire for this stone cold beast is about to heat up a notch.

Locked in stone for centuries, Spar has slept, waiting for when a human would need him. When he is awoken, Spar is taken aback to find that a human female needs his help. A very sexy woman who’s about to be the victim of a cultist attack. Saving and leaving her should be no problem. But as more questions arise, Spar knows that he cannot rest until Fil is safe in his arms

My Review:

This one started out alright but then quickly lost my focus.  Could be the recent trauma in my life or it could be that I’m just not into this series.  I struggled to finish this book and in the end I can’t remember much of what happened as I focused more on the chores I was working on than the plot of the book.  I think this might be where I leave this world and look for one that works better for me.

Like I said I barely remember what happen and did not connect with either of the lead characters in this title.  The domineering over-protective alpha male got on my nerves and the whole drama about I’m falling for him but we can never be together and I’m going to mourn his absence forever really got on my nerves.  I think it is time to try another genre until I can get my head out of this funk.  Romance is just a bit too much for my current patients level.  Perhaps a good sci-fi or adventure fantasy will pick my mood up.  My current mood is just too dark and the happily ever after crap isn’t working for me.  Maybe a good dystopian.

Anyway, I did finish the book though so I didn’t dislike it enough to DNF it was simply poor timing I think.  I did like how the heroine was a bit darker in this story but that’s about it.  The narrator was also a bit too much for me to handle and when she attempted to do an American accent for Chicago that made me want to facepalm I knew if I continued this series I would be reading it instead of listening.

So please excuse my poor attitude, it really wasn’t an awful book just not what I was in the mood for.  I simply don’t care to find out what happens next though so I won’t be continuing this series.  I do plan to check out other books by Ms. Warren as I do think she is a good author.

My Rating: 2 Stars

What If? by Randall Munroe

Book Review

 


What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical QuestionsBook Genre: Non-Fiction

Book Series: N/A

Released: 9/2/14 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Pages: 303  Price: Hard cover $14.66

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I borrowed this audio book from my library

 

Book Synopsis:

Randall Munroe left NASA in 2005 to start up his hugely popular site XKCD ‘a web comic of romance, sarcasm, math and language’ which offers a witty take on the world of science and geeks. It now has 600,000 to a million page hits daily. Every now and then, Munroe would get emails asking him to arbitrate a science debate. ‘My friend and I were arguing about what would happen if a bullet got struck by lightning, and we agreed that you should resolve it . . . ‘ He liked these questions so much that he started up What If.
If your cells suddenly lost the power to divide, how long would you survive?
How dangerous is it, really, to be in a swimming pool in a thunderstorm?
If we hooked turbines to people exercising in gyms, how much power could we produce?
What if everyone only had one soulmate?
When (if ever) did the sun go down on the British empire?
How fast can you hit a speed bump while driving and live?
What would happen if the moon went away?
In pursuit of answers, Munroe runs computer simulations, pores over stacks of declassified military research memos, solves differential equations, and consults with nuclear reactor operators. His responses are masterpieces of clarity and hilarity, studded with memorable cartoons and infographics. They often predict the complete annihilation of humankind, or at least a really big explosion. Far more than a book for geeks, WHAT IF: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions explains the laws of science in operation in a way that every intelligent reader will enjoy and feel much the smarter for having read.

My Review:

I borrowed this book simply because I wanted to listen to an audio book read by Wil Wheaton.  This book also just happened to sound interesting as well, even if it was non-fiction.  I have to say I was not disappointed one bit, this book was so much fun and I am going to have to start following the author’s website.

Not a lot I can review about the book.  It is what it is; the author answers crazy questions poised to him using science.  It makes you wonder and wish you had paid better attention in science class, if only so much math wasn’t involved…  It also makes one think that there are some seriously disturbed people out there in the world.  The book is set up so that each chapter tackles a different question with break chapters where the author shares with us some of the truly disturbing questions that have been ask.  Wil Wheaton is perhaps the perfect narrator for this book as his voice adds the perfect amount of snark and inflection that bring the answers to life.  I will have to seek other books that he has read to see what I think of them as well.

Like I said this was a fun listen.  Perfect for a car ride where you don’t necessarily want a story that might have inappropriate scenes for some of the passengers.  This would be great for a ride with teens as it might spark an interest in the sciences and lead to some great discussion.

My Rating: 4 stars

Top Ten Tuesday: Fall 2016 TBR

Top Ten Tuesday

Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week they ask us to share lists on the following:

September 27: Books On My Fall TBR List

Okay, here is the deal.  It has been no secret that I’ve slowed down in my reading by quite a bit and there are quite a few books from previous seasonal TBR lists that I simply haven’t gotten to.  So for this list rather than share books, series and authors that I have yet to make time to read I’m going to go through the books being released in the next three months and look for titles by authors that I’ve never tried before.  Might be nice to have something new to put off reading.  This year I’ve been trying to find my reading groove again and I’ve focused on authors I already have relationships with for this list I’m going to take a look and see who else I might want to try.  Now for the rules: Must be first in a series, must be by someone I’ve not read before, must be coming out in Sept, Oct, Nov, or Dec.  Shall we begin.

Ten books coming out this fall that caught my fancy.

 

  1. The Ones Released 9/6/16 : Even though this one is a YA title I actually might give it a try.  The premise sounds interesting and I’ve not read many dystopians recently.  Also a male author which would be a nice change of pace as I tend to read mainly female authors.
  2. Revenger Released 9/15/16: another male author and a space science fiction to boot.  This one looks quite interesting and I might just have to see if it shows up on Net Galley.  If not I will suggest it for my library.
  3. Replica (Replica, #1) Release 10/4/16: This one I actually picked up and had signed at BEA in May.  Haven’t read it yet, haven’t even looked at it much, but I do want to read it eventually.  What’s holding me back, waiting to be in the mood I guess…
  4. IQ Release 10/18/16: another I picked up at BEA.  This one I grabbed because it was early in the conference and the author’s line was short and the cover looked interesting.  I will say that the author was very sweet and so excited to be at BEA promoting his first book.  I’ve seen this one online quite a bit over the past few months and my interest in it has picked up.  Might not read it before release date but it will get its turn.
  5. The Lion in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World Releases 10/18/16: okay this book caught my eye because of my recent loss and the cute little kitten on the cover.  The only NF on the list and  it actually looks interesting.
  6. Warrior Releases 10/25/16: This looks to be a retelling for an opposing viewpoint novel.  It sounds interesting but leaves me torn over the decision of should I go back and read the other books first or just start here….
  7. Kingdom of Ashes (Nightfall, #1) Releases 10/30/16:  This one is a bit of a stretch at 540 pages and a cover I’m not thrilled about I might end up passing on this title, but for the purpose of this list I am going to go ahead and say ‘yeah, this one might be interesting.’
  8. The Diabolic Releases 11/1/16: another BEA score that has sat on my shelf and probably won’t be read before its release date.  I love the cover on this one though and it has better odds than Replica that it will actually be read eventually.
  9. Pandora (Guardian Angels, #1) Releases 11/1/16: Upon closer look I see that this book was originally published in 2013.  When I first saw and read the synopsis I was quite intrigued about adding this one to my fall tbr list but now that I take a closer look some of the charm has fallen off.  Still a cool cover and if it crosses my path I might give it a go.
  10. Devil in an Armani Suit releases 12/31/16: I’ve been slowly warming up to contemporary romance recently and this one looks interesting.  I can’t make up my mind if it is actually contemporary or a paranormal though.  Guess I might have to read it to find out.

 

Well there you have it the list of books coming out this fall that I plan to avoid reading.  What books are you looking forward to releasing soon?

Monday Morning Check-In: Dealing…

Monday Morning Check-In

Good Monday morning everyone.  Not a lot of reading or blogging went on last week and the aftermath of losing my best friend still continues to plague me.  In case you didn’t read my last post I woke up to find my cat Tilla had an embolism early Tuesday morning and we had to put her to sleep. Tilla was my favorite and the loss hit me quite hard especially since I was still recovering from re-homing my horse.  It took me four days to even pick up a book again and I decided to set aside my current review book and read a tried and true author.  The review book doesn’t come out until Nov 1st and with the current state of my emotional state I didn’t feel it was fair to review something for a publisher right now.

I’m feeling better but still not myself.  Today I am going to just indulge myself and do what ever the mood takes me.  I have two peacocks going to a new home, good thing, and this blog post to accomplish and that is it.  No wait I have a book talk at my library but that isn’t until this afternoon.  I might read, I might paint my nails, I might just play with kittens and watch tv.  The goal is de-stressing because the trauma has been manifesting physically in the form of panic attacks.

I know this is probably TMI but I might not get many reviews posted over the next couple weeks and I thought I should share why.  I need to find some world to get lost in and forget my pain but I’m not sure what I’m in the mood for now. I’m going to stick to favorite authors and nothing too heavy and hope that my reading interest picks up.  I have been listening to audio books as I fall asleep, non-fiction mainly, and that seems to help keep my head clear.  The only problem is I fall asleep and have to keep going back and re-listening to what I missed…

I hope you all have a great week and I will try to get a Top Ten Tuesday for you all tomorrow.  Happy Reading…

Today I lost someone I loved.

*This is going to be a non-bookish post.

Today I lost someone I loved.  Someone that came the closest I will ever have to an actual child.  Someone that was my best friend.  I woke to find my cat Attilla, Tilla for short, paralyzed from the waist down.  I knew it wasn’t good.  Called the vet and then made my husband drive us because I knew I wouldn’t be safe to operate a vehicle.  Arrived at the vet and of course it wasn’t good news.  She had a heart condition, a coronary thrombosis broke loose early this morning and she had an embolism.  As he explained all that had happen to my baby I knew it meant one thing.  Today I lose my best friend.  I interrupted him and said “I have to put her down don’t I.”  “It would be best” he replied, “She was in a tremendous amount of pain and there would be little or no recovering.” I scooped her up and clung to her as they made preparations. Sign the paperwork, no I want to take her home, I don’t need a box and I will remain in the room.  I sent my husband out to pay the bill and held my girl as they took her from me. Carried her home and buried her in the pasture where she loved to hunt.  I haven’t stopped crying since.

I’m sitting here in shock because it was so sudden.  I need to processes this fast because life goes on.  It isn’t fair to the animals that remain to suffer while I mourn.  I still need to go to work and next week I am going to my  college’s homecoming, its my classes honor year celebration 20 years.  I sit here typing this with kittens on my lap because I don’t want to be alone, yet I don’t want to be around people.  I know she was a cat, and I have lost many before and there will be plenty to come.  Tilla was special.  Tilla was my favorite.  She truly was my best friend.  The one being on this planet that I know loved me above all others.  My cuddle kitty, who always went to sleep curled up under my arm.  She would insist.  Pawing at me if I didn’t let her in, under the covers of course.  I dread tonight when I go to sleep alone…  I’ve known many pets and loved them all in some way or another but every once in a while there is a special bond.  That one soul that connects with you on a deeper level.  The ones that can’t be replaced.  Today I lost someone who I had that special bond with and it broke my heart.  I will eventually be able to function again but I will never get over Tilla.

She has been in my life since she was four weeks old.  My brother brought her and her two siblings, only her sister remains, to come be barn cats after their mother was killed by a car.  I raised them and when her sister was hit by a car and had her leg in a cast I moved them both into the house (I had already lost their brother) and they became house cats.  Tilla chose me.   I didn’t stand a chance, she wormed her way into my heart and today she took a piece of it with her.

So today I say good-bye and know I did the right thing.  It wasn’t easy or fair, but it was compassionate.  I found the strength to say good-bye instead of holding on for selfish reasons out of love.  She is not in pain.  She is free.  I will move on all the while crying at everything that reminds me of her.  I will let love in again I can’t help it, even if it means more days like this in my future.  Because this is one painful day and all the days of joy she brought me so vastly out-weigh it in the end.  Love is worth the price.

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ARC Immortal Nights by Lynsay Sands

Book Review

 


Immortal Nights (Argeneau, #24)Book Genre:
Paranormal, Romance

Book Series: Argeneau #24

Released: 9/20/16 by Avon

Pages: 384  Price: $7.99 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss for an honest review.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

In a sizzling new Argeneau novel from New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands, an impulsive rescue pairs a sexy immortal with the woman made to be his for eternity.

Abigail Forsythe’s life hasn’t been easy lately. Still, if there’s one thing guaranteed to take her mind off an empty bank account and abandoned dreams, it’s a naked man locked in a plane’s cargo hold. A very big, incredibly gorgeous naked man. And when instinct prompts her to free him, Abigail must rely on this stranger for survival…a stranger who leaves her thrumming with need every time they touch.

Tomasso Notte knows he’s found his life mate in Abigail. Now he just has to hold on to her. They’re miles from civilization, hunted by his kidnappers. Abigail has no idea of Tomasso’s abilities, or of how intensely pleasurable their unique connection can be. But he’s about to show her, beginning with one wild, hot, immortal night…

My Review:

While I adore this series, there will always be books I LOVE and few I dislike (like one so far) and some I feel ambivalent about.  This is one of the latter.  It isn’t that I didn’t enjoy reading this piece of the Argeneau world it just wasn’t my favorite.  Still devoured it in a day, doesn’t that make you feel like a total bad-ass, but I just couldn’t connect with Tomasso and Abigail. Sorry.  Still glad I read it and will be picking up my own copy to keep once it hits the shelves. To complete my collection!

So what was up with this book?  What didn’t work for me.  I’m thinking it might be a case of I should have read something else between the last vampire book and this vampire book.  The two series I read were vastly different from one another.  One dark and heavy and this one light and fun.  Both are styles of stories I enjoy but I might have enjoyed this one better if I had read a sci-fi in between.  Live and learn, I guess.  The insta-romance really stuck out to me and while I accept it in this premise I wish their coming together had a little more foreplay.  The first half of the book just didn’t gel with me but the second half picked up quite a bit and I loved the ending.  I really think it was just I didn’t care for Tomasso and Abigail because once the other characters joined the story I became more invested.

This one takes place over the same time-frame as the last two books and we are still dealing with this mystery doctor that is kidnapping Immortals.  We learn quite a bit more about his plans and even get to meet him at the end of this book.  I am intrigued about this story line and hope we get to the meat of this plot in the next book.  We also have a new human, Jet, added to the world and who will probably be one of Marguerite’s new match-making victims soon. I missed her in this book and look forward to her return.

Bottom line I’m glad I read this book.  Was it my favorite in the series, no.  Still enjoyable and if you are a fan of the series I would not skip it as you will miss a vital piece of the puzzle with this kidnapping plot.  If you are new to this world, please, give it a try! This series is a lot of fun and quick reads that will definitely keep you entertained.  I would start at the beginning though and with this being book 24 you will have lots of enjoyable reading hours ahead of you as you follow the sometimes outrageous plots and the more suspenseful ones that make up the Argeneau series.

My Rating: 3 Stars

Monday Morning Check-In: In a funk…

Monday Morning Check-In

Happy Monday everyone.  I am a little late today because I was a busy little bee this morning and got some chores done that I’ve been putting off since I entered this gave-away-my-horse-now-I’m-sad funk.  I spent most of my time feeling guilty for not working with her and for her not having a horse buddy that it was well past time to find her a new home and when this ideal situation presented itself to me I gave her away after owning her for 16 years.  I bought her when she was two months old and used to spend a lot of time with her and then we moved to a farm and I got older and busier and even a little intimidated by her… Anyway, it is done. It was the right decision and I will get over it eventually.  Hopefully soon.

On the reading front not a lot done.  Hubby and I went thrifting two days in a row and then listed items to eBay so I was busy. Did make some progress on my audio book but I think after this one if there aren’t any more available to borrow audio wise I might give up the series.  Just not that excited about it.  Of course that could be my current mood as I’m not that excited about much.  Tonight there are two tv shows I want to watch and I have been playing with my kittens, who moved to their new home on the porch this morning.  Need to decide which two will be living in the house and who will be put up for adoption soon.  They are seven weeks old today and so sweet, but rambunctious and a little hard on the home library…

Well I hope you all have a great week, happy reading.

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Urban Fantasy

Top Ten Tuesday

Welcome to another contribution to the wildly popular Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.  This week they ask us to share lists on the following:

September 13: Top Ten ALL TIME Favorite Books Of X Genre

Well yuck. How is one supposed to pick all time favorites… It isn’t so much that it will be difficult to limit to ten it is that our tastes change all the time.  When I was young I LOVED Stephen King, now I think he is an ass and I don’t enjoy his books.  Even younger you would find me reading anything about horses I could get my hands on. More recently I enjoyed YA fiction and now you have to force me to crack open one of those titles.  We change, our tastes change with our moods therefore picking favorites is only going to be a small snapshot of what I enjoy currently in my life.  So I’m going to need some more perimeters.

  • Only one book from any author.
  • No picking an entire series, must be my favorite book in that series at this moment.
  • Only titles that received five stars
  • Must pick one genre: Urban Fantasy

 

Ten books I love in the urban fantasy genre.

  1. The Curse of Tenth Grave (Charley Davidson, #10) I know, I know this was the last book published (recently) how can it be your absolute favorite. I might not be but I do love this series.  Ms. Jones is probably my second favorite author after Kenyon and this book was one of the best I read this year.  The series felt like it was taking a turn for a couple of books but this one brought the series back to feeling like it did in the beginning.  If you’ve given up on the series I highly suggest giving this book a try to see if you can’t fall in love again.
  2. Dance with the Devil (Dark-Hunter #3) This is one author where I’m kicking myself for the self-imposed rules listed above.  It has been a while since I read this series and there are so many books to pick from.  This is Zarek’s story though and it is where we get a first taste for the torment that Kenyon puts her hero’s through.  This was the first one in this series that I absolutely loved.
  3. Blood Assassin (The Sentinels, #2) This is fairly young series but I am so in love with it.  Been a while since reading and if it wasn’t for my reviews I wouldn’t have documented evidence that this one was my favorite.  So I’ll take myself at my work and pick this one from Ms. Ivy, who also has a paranormal urban fantasy series that was enjoyable, but this one is better.
  4. Hard Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires, #4) Took me four books to become sold on this world.  Once I was this book then promptly ripped my heart out and stomped it into the dirt.  Made me a loyal fan and I am so sad the last book comes out this year.
  5. Shadows Strike (Immortal Guardians, #6)  I feel like this is an underappreciated urban fantasy author.  Her world building and characters are top-notch though and this one was the first five-star review she earned from me. Go give this world a try!
  6. Dead to the World (Sookie Stackhouse, #4) Okay this one was tough to add to the list.  I am not a fan of how this series ended.  So much that I broke up with the author and vow never to read another of her books.  Up until about book ten though I loved this series.  This book is the one where Eric lost his memory and it remains one of my favorites.
  7. Once Burned (Night Prince, #1) Love this author and her different series.  She in best known for her Night Huntress world which is amazing, but I kind of like this one better.  This is the spin-off series featuring the big bad-ass Vlad.  So yummy.
  8. Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #3) I had a tough time remembering  which of these books were my favorite.  This is Zadist’s story and I think it was the first one I really loved.  I know I like other characters more than him, but this was an amazing book.
  9. Vincent (Vampires in America, #8) Another lesser known urban fantasy writer that I discovered since blogging.  Her world is great full of tough alpha males and the woman who drive them crazy. It is a complex world though that keeps getting better.  I do believe Vincent is my favorite so far but that might be tied with Christian’s story.  I have a tough time deciding…
  10. Hunting Ground (Alpha & Omega, #2) This is the spin-off series from the Mercy Thompson world and it is another instance where I enjoy the spin-off more than the original, although both are great!

Alright there you have my favorite urban fantasy books of the moment.  Have a different author or series that I should try next?  Share in the comments!

 

30 Day Book Challenge: Day 30!!!

bookchallenge

Day 30: Your favorite book of all time*.

The Martian

Goodreads Link, Blog Review

Really, favorite book of all time and I pick The Martian, something I only read three years ago… Really?  Yes, really.  Okay, let me explain why there is a little * up there.  This is my favorite book of all time for this moment in my life.  If I had to pick a book to recommend to any reader without knowing their taste or previous reading history I would pick The Martian.  If I had to pick one book to save from my library for the rest of my life, okay I would still pick my Kenyon collection but I would so sneak this title into the mix.  You know that Dark-Hunter story set on Mars.  I am so grateful for this blog as it was through a review request with Blogging for Books that I was introduced to this title.  I knew nothing about it and was simply blown away.  I have not read a review title since that has affected me in the same way.  Oh sure, I’ve enjoyed a lot of the review titles that I’ve read while book blogging but none of them has impressed me as much as this title and this author.  I am desperately waiting for his next book and have added him to my author-met bucket list.  This is a great book, an okay movie, and a fun audio book.  I know I pimp it a lot on this blog and for that reason alone it is (currently) my favorite book of all time.

Well, we made it!  30 Day Book Challenge complete.  I hope you enjoyed this little trip into my reading life for the past 30 days.  It was interesting and I’m glad I did it. Not sure I will be doing this sort of thing regularly, but a challenge is good for you every now and again.

Does the 30 Day Book Challenge sound like fun to you?  Why not join me!  Below is the graphic I borrowed off the internet, feel free to borrow it from me.  I will be posting pictures of the books I select each day to my Instagram account too.  Be sure to follow me over there to see my picture for today’s selection.

30daybookchallenge